Here is the last instalment of photos (scenic ones, anyway) from my NZ South Island trip. It was way too short, and I must go back in winter. The lakes are an amazing blue, every corner presents new breathtaking sights, the roads are great to drive on, there are so few people and the sky just opens up. All in all, I really loved the South Island drive, and I can’t wait to see more.
The second part of the drive was from Queenstown to Wanaka, where the wedding of secrecy was to be held. All we knew was to be at place x by certain time, but the photos here aren’t about the wedding.
As for the drive, the weather was wonderful for this middle part, and the drives were spectacularly awesome. Crown Range Road is one epic drive that makes giants look like hobbits – everything was massive. Not much traffic, great quality road and scenery that was jaw dropping at every corner. I will be back. The car – a Toyota Camera – was really nice to drive, and compared to my last road trip where everything went wrong, this was a dream.
We were lucky to get here with Tropical Cyclone Grant threatening
Up until the day of our departure, even being able to get to Darwin was touch-and-go. Jets are not too fond of cyclones, and we didn’t know if we’d have an issue. As it turns, it blew over without too much whimper.
Getting here was no drama at all. Except the driver who slammed my laptop into the cap with a massive bang. I shit myself, it was really a bang that sounded like a crack, and given the weight of all the camera gear, I was thinking the worst. The cabby, being a moral guy, ended up giving me his details and told me they would look after it in the event anything went wrong. After that, our motel home and sleep were needed.
Day 1: The Road Trip Begins
I stared the day at 6:15 local time. Amy was still sleeping, so I went for a little drive and got some morning sunrise-ish (it was kinda overcast) shots at East Point, in Darwin. Came home, and Amy and I were on the road by 9ish. We needed to head to Katerine, so on-with-the-trip.
We had some advice (thanks Dave and Buckers) to check out Litchfield National Park. It wasn’t a massive detour, and it was really quite nice. Greenery, Waterfalls, Termites – pretty beautiful stuff. Pictures below.
Back on the road, or almost
Back on the road and we hit a town called Adelaide River. This is where things got messy. A Cop pulled me over for a breath-test, and told me the road from Pine Creek to Katherine is closed and impassable. There were floods that basically locked everyone in (and out) of Darwin. Katherine is one of those central towns, that without it, you just can’t get through. So we were in a spot of bother. No accommodation in Pine Creek, none in Adelaide River – we had to head back to Darwin with no promises of being able to get through.
After talking with some locals – and getting laughed at for asking about the internet – the feeling was this can be days to weeks. ‘It’s wet season’ was the general theme, so nothing is sure.
Had a nice night in Darwin, and we didn’t have too much choice. We have a pretty tight schedule, and wasting 500Kms was not ideal. But, what can we do.
Had a pretty crazy 24 hours that involved my Dad getting married to Gina, a flight to Sydney, dinner and then coming home. All pretty whirlwind crazy and fun – strange to leave a wedding when it’s all happening, and cool at the same time. Our hotel for the night was wonderful and had an awesome view of Sydney, and dinner was awesome. Even though the ‘holiday’ was ridiculously short, it was a great experience thanks to Dad and Gina.